Setting up energy-efficient lighting for your business isn’t just good for the environment. It can also boost your bottom line. If you’re considering retrofitting your system, we’ve covered four tips for energy-efficient lighting in office settings.
1. New Lighting Technology
Over the past couple decades, lighting technology has made substantial improvements with the development of efficient bulbs like LEDs, CFLs and energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. Energy-efficient bulbs use anywhere from 25 percent to 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
These newer bulbs also last much longer. The Department of Energy estimated that one LED bulb can last 25,000 hours — 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb, which lasts only about 1,000 hours.
2. Benefits and Drawbacks
Upgrading to new bulbs has several benefits. First, you pay less for electricity every year. Also, since these bulbs last longer your maintenance team will waste less time replacing dead bulbs. This frees up their time and makes their job safer. Every time they replace a bulb, there’s a chance they could fall.
The main drawback to retrofitting your lighting is energy-efficient bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs. It costs around $8 for an LED bulb versus $1 for an incandescent bulb, according to The Simple Dollar. It’s a long-term investment because while you’re paying more upfront for the bulb, you’ll make that money back through energy savings and by having to replace dead bulbs less often.
3. Cost Benefit Analysis
LED Waves offers a free calculator to estimate your total savings and break-even point from switching to energy-efficient lighting. If you switch from a 60-watt incandescent bulb that costs $1 per bulb to a 12-watt LED bulb that costs $8 per bulb, you’ll save $165 dollars over the life of the LED bulb and break even in less than three months when you consider energy and labor savings.
4. Lighting Options to Consider
LEDs are the most energy-efficient bulbs but they’re also the most expensive. When you retrofit, you could take a measured approach and use less expensive, but still efficient CFLs for ceiling installations, desk lamps and hanging fixtures. You could use LEDs in hard-to-reach spots and areas where lights are on all the time, such as window displays and security lights.
For your office and warehouse lighting, if you’re using old T-12 fluorescent tubes, upgrade to more efficient T-5 and T-8 bulbs. For even more energy savings, you can use T-8 LED tubes. Finally, use dimmers so employees can lower the light when they’re not using it. This way you don’t waste money lighting up an empty room.
With a little planning, upgrade to energy-efficient lighting. Then, you can feel good knowing you’re saving money while doing your part to help the planet.
David Rodeck is a professional freelance writer based out of Delaware. Before writing full-time, he worked as a health- and life-insurance agent. He specializes in making insurance, investing and financial planning understandable.